Friday, February 06, 2009

Back From Facecation, The Infamous Osgood Schlatter, and Kristen Brydums

I've been stuck in Facebook Land for the last few days. Je-sus. I had a lot of apprehensions about it at first, but I'll admit (Betsy) it's been kinda fun. Now I just want to chill from it and put it on cruise control. It's good to be home, Blogworld.

From all the running -- four times a week for an hour and a half on two different basketball teams -- Maya has developed chronic pain in her knees. Achy pain, sharp pain, pain that goes from one knee to the other. When she was a toddler until she was about eight, anytime she went through a growth spurt, her feet would ache so badly she'd wake me up to rub them a couple times a night. But the knees worry us. I really believed it was nothing more than growing pains and a little tendinitis, but Husband is hypersensitive about the matter considering he's had ACL and meniscous surgeries. "She's too young to have knee problems." I took her to the doctor on Monday as a precaution and it turns out she has a condition called Osgood-Schlatter disease. Husband would later remark, "After the famous Osgood Schlatter?" It's a condition that affects active young athletes -- "mainly boys" the doctor said -- where kids experience pain at the base of their knee cap from the growth plates rubbing against the top of the tibia. Ouch. Extreme running and growth spurts flare it up and cause pain. Maya said, "Don't tell me I have to stop playing basketball." The doctor said no, but she has to cut down. Maya sort of fish flopped on the examination table. This was not the news she wanted to hear, but all of her parents, me, Husband, BD and Sanne were thrilled she didn't have any tears in ligaments or anything else more serious or permanent. Osgood-Schlatter will go away when she stops growing. Beat it, Osgood. The doctor gave us a note to discontinue one basketball team, but she can stay with the other. On the way out of the office I said to Maya, "Dude, you have a disease." We laughed and went home to ice her knees with a frozen pack of peas.

Here's Mina my other little stud working on her tennis game with her awesome coach Amy.

I'm not afraid to share my balls of light today. I'm feeling solid and confident in them . . .I'm back to hitting the books to become a holistic nutritionist. When I first started studying, I freaked out about time and the lack of time, but some how I've made peace with it and studying has been fun. I fit it in just fine now. I scratch my head at the previous freak out. I also have a more clear purpose about why I'm studying, and in a nutshell it's so I can simply volunteer all the information away. I want to volunteer at low-income clinics and share it all with them. The folks with access to the organic aisles of Whole Foods already have a leg up, and some how, in a little way, I'm gonna break the myth that healthy food is not for poor people, that organics is not for them, that fresh food is not for them. Anyway, I'm on my way. I finished my first class, The Fundamentals of Nutrition and I got a 97% on the final. Whootwhoot! I'm now taking Traditional Naturopath which is a trip, but an interesting trip.

There were three things that got me back on this path: First, I don't ever stop thinking about how food is medicinal and a key to preventative care. Secondly, I saw the movie Sicko, finally, and after feeling devastatingly hopeless immediately after, I realized this is the only way I know how to lend a hand. And lastly, I recently read an article about Kristen Brydums. Kristen was a student from San Francisco who went on a utopian journey across the U.S. out to prove the generosity of people. She was an ultimate freegan; she gratefully took what people gave her and then gave it all away again. The purpose of this journey was to prove that this recycling of generosity works. When she reached New Orleans, she hung out with dumpster-diving artists in abandoned houses in the 9th Ward and on her second night there she was shot in the face four times and killed, her borrowed bike stolen, her purse taken too. Her mother laments that Kristen would have gladly given the stuff to the people who did this to her. Having looked her up again, I read a few blogs ripping Kristen's naivete and how this has re-kicked up a political shit storm regarding sections of a still battered New Orleans. Yet still I am deeply touched by Kristen's belief that scarcity is a myth; that there is plenty for everyone if we -- individuals and government -- shared a little more. And with that -- as people oddly and angrily battle over what she was or wasn't, and what NOLA is or isn't -- she inspired me. Her open heart and big naive ideas are not lost on me nor do I think they were squashed in vain.


Anonymous said...

Hello, Mami! I feel like we should be old friends. I am going to get my tattoo finished on thursday (YAY!) and then I will post a picture of the loveliness. I would love to learn from you about healthy living for the poor (being poor and all). I find whole foods so expensive, and with short shelf lives, requiring a bit more organization. If you would like to use me as a "meat and potatoes overweight american" guinea pig, I would humbly volunteer.
In other news, the green you have in february is making me jealous.

madness rivera said...

Hi Hil, Ooo girl, first of all I'm not gonna pretend like I know much of anything yet, but I do know somethings and I'm happy to share that. I might do a post about it, but if not, I'll send you an email with suggestions. That's all I got for now if that's cool. Also, what sizes are your girls? Let get some free market love happening up in here. Maya's growing out of stuff left and right.

Can't wait to see the new piece!

Kristin C. said...

What a shock that story gave me! I wasn't expecting it to end so horribly. Jeez.

As far as nutrition goes...what a wonderful way to teach yourself and others how to heal themselves from within. Good nutrition is lacking so obviously in this country. As a nurse I am horrified by the food we feed our sick. There is a private hospital in a very wealthy town north of Chicago around where I live...they just started to serve their patients ORGANIC, LOCAL foods! UNHEARD OF!! I spoke with one our execs about this....and it's just not in the budget for a hospital like ours.....but he totally "got" what I was saying.


DJ said...

Osgood Schlatter - my god, what a blast from the past! My (now extremely tall) brother suffered from this throughout his childhood and I have a terrible sneaking suspicion that my lovely lanky, extremely active six-year old has the same ailment. And thanks for the heads-up on Kristen Brydums - interesting story, I want to know more, reminding me a little of Chris McCandless...

Vegyogini said...

I find it amazing that you have time to be a stellar mother, wife, person, athlete, employee, AND student! Where are you taking classes?

madness rivera said...

Hey Kristin, good for you for bringing it up at least. Switching would probably not be that much more expensive -- but these red tape contracts for a lucrative shitty-food market makes it hard. Keep up the fight!

Oh DJ, that stinks. Osgood! You ain't no good.

Thanks Vegy. I'm enrolled at Clayton College. It's a college of natural health specifically and the best part is that they support an online curriculum. Check 'em out at Anyway, that means I can study when the girls are doing homework or while dinner's cooking and I can take a test before bed . . .it seemed hard to stay self motivated at first but I tapped into their support channels and rekindled the purpose and here I go . . .pile it on --- wwwweeeeeeee!

j-boo said...

What a scare with Maya's knee. Oh gosh, I'm glad to hear it will go away as she ages... and SO happy to hear that she can still play basketball! YAY for that!

What an amazing little athlete Mina is. Those videos were so fun to watch. Cutie pie, cutie pie!!!

I am SO THRILLED to hear about your classes. I cannot think of anyone who would be better at spreading this positive message than YOU!! It just sounds wonderful and I'm so proud of you!

And thank you for sharing that story about Kristen. What a super sad ending; yet, what an inspiration she was. It sure makes you stop and think about what is important and how many people out there need the positive message.

Thanks for being YOU!
And thanks for the sweet comment on my blog. That video had me crying at the half-way point too. =)

Hugs, Jinxi

Emilie said...

I'm missing you extra as V-Day rolls up and I'm like...where was I last year at this time...ooooh yeah.

So, as always, thanks the the inspiration. Keep working the books and the spirit and the space for yourself to move toward big things.

Tell Maya I'm sending digitally frozen peas her way.


madness rivera said...

Oh Em, I can't believe it was only a year ago . . .our adventure. I think about it a lot. It seems like so much larger than a mere year ago. Your recent chocolate work is brilliant, as are you. Happy Valentine's Day.

Anonymous said...

Amen! And I also share in your inability to stop thinking about food's medicinal properties. Probably why we never tire of our catch up time with each other. Whatever you thought about in the 15 minutes since I last saw you is probably fascinating to me!

Sorry and happy to hear about Maya. She will just have to kick ass on one team at a time.

My word verification was "thingsa". ha.

madness rivera said...

Oh Mol, I love ya.

Anonymous said...

Long time reader...rare commenter...

Ooooo...I had the same thing growing up. I was a competitive figure skater and runner. Poor Maya! Tell her that the doc gave some good advice though. I didn't listen and kept up all my same workouts/routines and ended up doing more damage. Due to the added stress once I hit 17 I dislocated both of my knees within less than a year and I've had 5 surgeries since then. Now I can't even jog or do aerobics or cycle without extreme pain.

It sucks to have to take it a little easier when you're such an avid athlete, but you have to do your body good!

madness rivera said...

I'm so sorry you went through that -- are still going through that. I'll make sure your pain is not in vain and I'll help Maya heed the advise for sure. Thanks so much for the comment and for sharing.

Ali la Loca said...

That story shook me up. Never expected the reminds me of many stories of people wanting to do good in very poor communities - be it missionary work, non-violent teachings, environmental work, whatever - and when they meet a tragic end, there is this weird backlash that "they should have known better" than to come into a community not their own and try to make a difference. Sigh.

nec said...

I so admire your awesomeness :o)

I know it is difficult for food pantries to keep fresh food available because of the ebb and flow of need however it is sad that the poor and working poor have to rely on so many packaged foods - especially when the odds are - they have no access to health care. Thank you for your part in trying to fill that gap.

I would love for you to post about it, we can all learn from you!

I had not heard the story of Kristen before - what a sad indication as to where our society has sunk - however there is always hope! We just each have to do our one small part :o)

And your girls? Well, they are just fabulous! :o)

Sorry for the loooong comment!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm a long time lurker and admirer of your beautiful writing, have often meant to comment but am sadly mostly too lazy - unlike you!
That story about Kristen, however, shocked me into commenting. I really didn't expect it to turn out like that. I was waiting for you to say that she met so many lovely people and never wanted for anything during the whole of her trip etc etc, so it was kinda WHAM when I read what happened. Thank you for bringing this story to my attention. I have visited NO so the story made me sad and think lots of conflicted thoughts. I think, though, that I pretty much agree with you, that there isn't really one answer, or one conclusion on this, but that we can all be inspired by her ideas.

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